Pinay's Letter From Brunei
By Ruth Mabanglo
I am a teacher, wife and mother.A woman---kissed by perfume, powder and silk,Intimate with the washtub, pots, and bed.Seemingly weary and bored,I seek to go abroad.
Always the same man sits at the head of the table,He reads the newspaper each morning.He waits for his coffeeAnd smokes,While I am restrained by the crib and books,I apply my lipstick and let the faucet drip.He does not stir Even if the pots burn or the children whimper.In the bathroom, I hand him his underwear and towel,I comfort him when he is edgy.He has no explanation for Why he stays out all night,But his forehead is furrowedWhen I leave on Sunday.He does not like
Even though the pay envelope is flat,He seems to still want me to perform miraclesEven if the rent money is always short.
I am a teacher, wife and mother.A woman---weary of being a woman.Designated by my genitaliaAssigned to the broom, the wash and lullabyEven with a profession and salary.Always the same daily routine---
The drudgery spread out in the lengthOf the house and schoolOf the kitchen and bed.Do I have the right to sulk?Where will I run when I am sad?He has a beerhouse and massage parlor hangoutMy partner who craves,I wait by the window.My body blazes with my ambitionsMy tongue has a cross and is barred to speak.My children ask for bread,I turn up the volume of the radio.It seems I am weary and bored,I seek to go abroad.
It was then I dreamt I was wearing pants,I send dollars and
pasalubong .I can now breathe freely,My lips are without keys, my mind is open.I confess that I am lonelyEven if now, I make my own coffee.I wait for letters at the gate and door,On the phone my heart is replenished.I cried in the beginning,It appears that everything can be cured by reading.This is the answer,Leave the man to wash the sheets.
THE SEA By Natividad Marquez
Why does the sea laugh, Mother,As it glints beneath the sun?It is thinking of the joys, my child,That it wishes every one.Why does the sea sob so, Mother,As it breaks on the rocky shore?It recalls the sorrows of the world.And weeps forevermore.Why is the sea so peaceful, Mother,As if it were fast asleep?It would give our tired hearts, dearest child,The comfort of the deep.
Regla sa Buwan ng HunyoBy Ruth E. Mabanglo
Pagbigyan ang pwersang ito:lakas na umaahon sa sinapupunan,init na sumusubo, dumadaloy, umiigkas,kusang lumalaya't lumalayawkahit na sinusupil,dumadanak at bumabakashatdan man ng hilahil.Pagbigyan ang pwersang ito--ito:kabuuan ng lahat kong pagkatao,kabuuan ng kaibhan ko't pagkakatuladsa lahat ng tao,kabuuan ng naimpok kong alaala'tginagastang kasalukuyankabuuan ng kinabukasang isinasanlasa kalendaryo.
Pagbigyan ang pwersang ito--hayaang magmapa sa talaanng utang ko't pautang,hayaang maglimbag ng sagutin ko't pananagutan:sa sarili, sa angkan at sa lipunan:hayaang magbadyang karaingan ko't pangangailangan,ngayon,habang nilalason ng maraming kabaroang itlog at semilyaat binubulok naman ng ibasa sansupot na gomaang bunga ng pag-ibig at pagtatalik.Ay, anong kilusan, martsa't litanyaupang mapuksa ang sanggolnang buong laya?Ilang liblib na klinika, basurahan at
kubetaang pag-iimbakan ng kapusuka't sala?Kahit ang ampunang nagbobodegang pananagutang itinatwamay sumbat ng kalikasangdi matatakasan.Pagbigyan ang pwersang ito--ismiran ang humuhugot na kirot, batahin ang hagupithabang tinatanggap, tinatanggapang katuturang pumapaso sa pagtigmak.
Ito ang pagtagay sa Hunyosa kalis ko--nobya,asawa,kerida,o kahit ng bayarang tagapagpaligaya:ito ang testamento, ang kontrata, angsumpa:ito ang saligan,ang kahulugan at kahungkaganng buhay at pag-iral.Pagbigyan,ito,ang agos ng madlang pagsulong--hininga ng pag-asaang namimilapil dito.